The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla.
Mom to a wonderful boy, driven aesthetic medicine & dentistry specialist and a beautiful personality, Daria has a strong sense of fashion and jewellery style. If she’s not jet setting the world, you’ll find her on Harley Street making women the best versions of themselves!
Name: Daria Voropai
Alma Mater: Medical University of Utrecht
Occupation: Aesthetic Doctor, prospective Oral, Maxillofacial Surgery
LONDON OR AMSTERDAM: I like London, but I truly LOVE Amsterdam. I have lived in London for almost 5 years and then DAM was calling me back. I relocated last year and since then I am commuting for 3 days a week to London.
FAVOURITE SPOTS IN AMSTERDAM: CoffeeConcepts, that’s a coffeeshop (yes they serve COFFEE there) near the lovely Vondelpark. If you like having great coffee (and cake) while reading a magazine, finishing up some work on your laptop or just socializing that’s the place to be. My favourite restaurant is MOMO, sushi is the best there. Summers in Amsterdam are, in my opinion, so charming. You will see residents living near the canals put their own tables in front of their houses and enjoy the weather with neighbours, friends or people that are just passing by. My favourite thing to do in Amsterdam is to get on a boat and tour the canals. Spending time with family and friends whilst enjoying the ambiance of the city, watching other people and of course the sweet tasting Rose wines and canapés.
FAVOURITE SPOTS IN LONDON: London and I have some sort of a love-hate thing going on. The luxury the city has to offer is just to die for! So many amazing restaurants, day spas… Speaking of which, the one I visit frequently is ESPA Life at the Corthina Hotel – it’s like a little oasis in the middle of a large and busy city. I drink my cocktails at The Artisan or the Mandrake Hotel. Another favourite of mine is the Chiltern Firehouse. Although cliche, it’s just around the corner from work.
IN THE BEGINNING: Oh gosh… for as long as I can remember I always wanted to pursue a career in medicine. I used to tell my mom that I was going to heal all the sick children in the world and after we would all be able to play together. Further my interest in facial surgery came from my junior rotations or little internships during final university years. I was placed at the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. There I witnessed the most intriguing surgery. The patient was involved in an accident a few months earlier and broke his orbit – the bone surrounding your eye. The surgeon wanted to reconstruct his orbit. So an incision from ear to ear was necessary and his face was kinda peeled off. I remember staring at his forehead, which now was lying on his chin. I was thinking to myself ‘OMG did I just witness a FACE OFF’? I found it so intriguing and just knew this would become my future specialty.
AMSTERDAM DEBUT: Well, this is a funny story. My mom is a very beautiful woman, who takes care of herself very well. When I graduated medical school, she decided that it would be very handy if I became an aesthetic doctor. As a graduation present she payed for my courses in aesthetic medicine (fillers, mesotherapy, botox, etc.) and afterwards she accommodated me with a little practice. So that’s how my aesthetic days begun. My mom was my very first client followed by her friend and then the word just got out there and after 6 months I was almost fully booked in every weekend and had to combine my hospital job with my aesthetic job.
LONDON DEBUT: I moved to London to start my second higher degree, dentistry. I embarked on a very competitive dental course at King’s College London. So besides being a mom and a student I have decided that I need to start practicing my hobby in London. I have been mentored by Dr. Kate Goldie, who is one of the aesthetic doctors famous worldwide. From that point we started working together and now run a high-end clinic on Harley Street (Clinic 77). It is hard to get an appointment, but so worth it.
SHOP THE LOOK:
AROUND THE WORLD: Besides working in the clinic I am part of a research centre focusing on regeneration of skin and tissues. This is part of our clinic, we make a plan individually designed for each client and the main goal is to strengthen and regenerate his/her own tissue and of course improve the appearance. I teach aesthetic and rejuvenating procedures such as dermal fillers, treatments etc. around the world. Last year I have travelled to Montreal, Bangkok, Taipei, Monaco, Malaga, Berlin, New Zealand and San Diego. Travelling helps me understand different aesthetic trends globally and I learn something new every time by talking to my foreign colleagues.
BOTOX: …Because there is no gym for wrinkles. Botulinumtoxin is a protein based solution, which relaxes your mimic muscles to prevent them creasing your skin and thus making wrinkles. It’s very popular nowadays and when it is done well, the result is beautiful and unspottable.
HARLEY STREET: Which doctor does not dream to have a business card, which says Harley Street? Well mine came true. Clinic 77 is a bit of speakeasy. Hard to find and to get in but amazing. We are not a high volume clinic. That means that we care, look and plan for our clients. A consultation is about an hour. From there on we make a plan for the year with your aims: be that prevention, beautification or rejuvenation, whatever you want. All treatments are preformed by highly skilled doctors. That makes us different form many clinics. We make you fall in love with yourself again.
POWER COMES FROM: Knowledge, emotions & beauty.
TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: Chanel! I bought my first flapbag caviar leather with my very first salary. So that’s emotional. On the day I received my payment I went to the boutique to buy the bag and walked out one salary lighter. Now I must say I can equally fall in love with a beautiful piece from Topshop as long as it gives me that excitement.
ONLINE SHOPPING: Online shopping has made my life a lot easier. To be honest, I love Net-A-Porter, Modaoperandi, Mytheresa and Matchesfashion.com, but also ASOS, H&M and ZARA. And I never go shopping for my son, I always buy from Childrensalon website. I even do groceries online and Amazon of course is a lifesaver. My days are very busy so I try not to spend time doing shopping errands, so online is absolutely perfect.
SHOP THE LOOK:
GEM STYLE: My jewellery style is classic and bold. I am Russian, I love the bling, but am also sophisticated. Jewellery is a big part of my life, unfortunately I can’t wear a lot of jewellery at work due to infection control and hygiene reasons. But in the weekend I always try to enjoy my jewels. I feel naked without my rings and watch. I keep my jewellery in a safe back in Amsterdam and every two weeks I change something and wear it. I love rings. My dream is to have every precious stone in a ring and I am talking big stones! I would like to have a pigeon blood ruby in rose gold, a drop of Colombian emerald and a yellow diamond necklace. A girl can dream, right! But I also like H.Stern.
MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: Most of the time I wear my Zenith Pilot Chronograph watch accompanied by a blue sapphire ring, which I have received as gift from my father after giving birth to my son. It’s of great emotional value for me. Because of my personal taste and skin tone I try to wear only white or rose gold (but Cartier’s colour of rose). I am not all that spoiled as it might come across. I have been very fortunate, can’t deny that. I am grateful for the life I am able to be living, grateful for all the joyful moments, but also for the less fortunate ones.
FIRST JEWELLERY: My mom pierced my ears when I was 4 years old. Even though I was so little I still remember that day as if it was yesterday. I had little golden heart hangers put in and as every 4-year old girly girl I felt like a true princess! My first ‘big’ jewellery gift I received when I was 17 years old and it was a Chopard ring my parents had bought for my birthday. The ring came with a card from my mom saying that from this birthday on I would only get jewellery presents. We have talked about it and my parents want to provide me with gifts that could be passed on for generations. I am living a very fortunate life, but my parents are realistic and know that everything can change overnight. This way I would always have something to fall back on if necessary and get my children through university. Oh, and lets not forget… heirlooms for their grandchildren. I was very touched. When I turned 25, my dad gave me his first Rolex with an engraving, very special to me!
PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING: Okay, I must say this is kind of awkward, but here goes nothing. Some time ago I got proposed with the most perfect engagement ring. It’s safe to say that I was blown away. Unfortunately, later we have decided to break off the engagement, so needless to say I don’t wear the ring anymore. It’s a 2,5 ct round diamond set in a baroque vintage setting with a little pink diamond hidden under the solitaire. I absolutely love the ring, but it doesn’t seem logical and doesn’t feel good wearing it. It is a piece with a story that will stay with me for a lifetime, but now I am keeping it safe for my son. Maybe someday he will find the love of his life and would want to propose with the ring his daddy gave his mom. Or… worst case scenario I will have to pawn it to pay for my sons education, haha. But my gosh, every time I looked at the ring it felt so surreal and I most definitely was the happiest girl in town. If I ever will be fortunate enough to be proposed to again I wouldn’t mind receiving an oval shaped yellow diamond on a thin band, haha.. a girl can dream!
ROLEX OR CARTIER: Rolex. Again because of the emotional attachment to my 90’s Datejust. But I really appreciate good watches and am fascinated by the complexity of the timepieces and their legendary handcraft. I guess I inherited it from my dad. He is, what they call it, a true classic watches fanatic. I do think that Rolex, especially the Datejust series was being hyped for the past 5 years. Wouldn’t exclude the possibility for buying a Cartier watch at some point in my life, but think that the Rolex has always been a first choice due to it’s consistent value. I now have set my eye on a watch that is made by Christiaan van der Klaauw, Dutch watchmaker who makes handmade astronomical watches. Absolutely stunning, but not comparable to Rolex though. So… I think that the Santos has to wait.
MEN JEWELLERY: Preferably a classic watch combined with subtle cufflinks, but some men can get away with a manly bracelet with elephant hair or leather.
FINE JEWELLERY: Haha, what do they say? “Diamonds are forever, and are a girls best friend.” Practicing medicine doesn’t allow me to wear jewellery during working hours (hygiene), but once I am able to wear some I love to vary. As far as I’m concerned every occasion has it’s own way to dress and that also applies to jewellery. For the chic occasions I prefer what I call the ‘Audrey Hepburn’: pearls and/or diamonds which accentuate my feminine and classic style. When dressing trendy I just absolutely love to wear a statement necklace or earrings to complete my look. As you might have figured out by now I don’t find it necessary to restrict myself to one certain type of jewellery, as long as the piece tells the story I want to portray and looks great I am very likely to love it. With that said I do have to note that not all my jewellery has a meaning, but the key pieces in my collection do. I think that’s something I would look for: meaning and a story that will last a lifetime. I would define fine jewellery as everlasting. The use of precious metals that guarantee quality. Fine jewellery can last for generations and often is an investment. I certainly don’t see myself passing down any of my statement necklaces as a family heirloom (if they even make it till then, haha).
JEWELLERY AS AN INVESTMENT: Yes! I do believe that there are some jewellery that can be seen – and I do see – as an investment. Buying diamonds and Rolex watches will not be a daily thing for me, but building a collection that’s worthwhile (with the emphasis on worth) I do think that in the long run it’s an investment. Some say stones as an investment are a bit tricky, because the prices fluctuate. Maybe it’s wiser to invest in precious metals such as gold since it’s stable in value. But… up till now I have bought jewellery because I loved the way it looked and made me feel first, and always kept the investment part as a come in handy second.
VINTAGE JEWELLERY: That’s a difficult question. I think I love vintage because of the classic, distinguished yet sexy and romantic look it provides and of course the use of great materials. The ‘Audrey Hepburn’ comes to mind again. But I don’t think it’s your everyday jewellery. Not that it’s a bad thing, but true vintage pieces should be handled with care and, if you ask me, aren’t even suitable for everyday use. Vintage looking jewellery, so not really vintage but only appears as vintage, is not something that I prefer. Makes me feel as if I’m looking tacky and trying to establish that Hepburn look in the totally wrong way, haha. Vintage pieces should be authentic and timeless.
PERFECT GETAWAY: I’m going to be very unoriginal but I love Mauritius. Sun, cocktail and just a bounty surrounding. I love skiing so one of my memorable trips was skiing in Canada, absolutely would go back.
NEXT TRIP: Only Europe for the next few months. I am done for a while, but for leisure with friends and family I might make an exception.
COACHELLA OR BURNING MAN: Festivals are very hot in Amsterdam and Dutchies know how to party. I have been spoiled with festivals growing up. Burning Man is the thing to do. Coachella is a bit soft and of course for all ages. I’d rather leave my pumpkin at home for a few more years. I can really appreciate the good ambiance, variety of music, weather and celebrating party people that visit Burning Man. Feels as if we’re all there celebrating the good things life has to offer.
MY WEAPON OF CHOICE : The power of smile and a pair of killer heels. I must say exquisite food is also very powerful.
WILD WISH: Hot air balloon ride over Bagan, Burma.
Thanks for stopping by! What is your favourite piece from Daria’s jewellery collection? Leave me a comment below!
I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
SHOP MY FAVOURITE JEWELRY ONLINE:
GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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